Scoping the Project:
In & Out of Scope Materials 

Decisions about scope should start with details outlined in the Partnership for Shared Book Collections’ Best Practice for Collection Scope of Shared Collections, especially including that shared print programs should have a scope statement that defines the body of material to be protected in order of priority. The following guidance provides some examples of how monograph shared print programs have defined the scope of their collective collections. 

Some scope decisions are best made at the outset of a project, for example, whether to include only print monographs or print journals and serials, or both. Factors that influence this include: programmatic priorities, bandwidth of program participations, limitations of collection analysis tools and services, and unique features of monograph and journal holdings data. While some programs, like the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST) and Maine Shared Collections Cooperative (MSCC), have focussed on both journals and monograph retention generally programs have been established with a focus on a particular material type. 

Other scope decisions can be made later as part of a careful analysis of the program’s combined collection, for example, agreeing categories of materials (e.g. textbooks) that are out of scope. Scope can also evolve over time, for example, titles considered too new to be analyzed during an initial collection analysis project may be analyzed at a later date. Or as programs grapple with expanding their scope to include special collections copies. This document is not meant to advocate for what should be in or out of scope, rather give libraries a sense of what the landscape has been and may be evolving into.  

To date most monograph shared print programs have decided to define in-scope as:

Some programs have additional criteria for what's considered in-scope including:

The following categories have been historically excluded by some programs (often at the suggestion of collection analysis vendors). At the same time, there are programs that have actively pursued content in these categories and shared print programs’ collection scope can evolve over time to include what has previously been excluded. 

Example scope statements:

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Last Updated September 2021